Thursday, February 25

A quick word about passwords

Considering the latest swath of phishing and account hijacking on Twitter, I thought I'd post this reminder. If you have a strong password, hackers will pass by your account and attempt to hack an easier target.

Picking a good password is not as thought-free (but is twice as important) as it may seem. Whoever has your password can (in effect) "be you" anywhere on the web — posting comments, sending spam, and leaving dangerous feedback for others. Basically, such an impostor can ruin your online reputation — and possibly cause you serious financial grief.

With any online password, you should follow these common-sense rules to protect your privacy:
  • Don't pick anything too obvious, such as your birthday, your first name, or your Social Security number. (Hint: If it's too easy to remember, it's probably too easy to crack.)
  • Make things tough on the bad guys — combine numbers and letters and create nonsensical words.Use upper and lower cases.
  • Don't give out your password to anyone — it's like giving away the keys to the front door of your house.
  • If you even suspect someone has your password, immediately change it 
  • Change your password every few months just to be on the safe side.

Monday, February 22

Update after talking to Google RE: Buzz

It seems my last post created quite a stir. Today I got an email from Google Buzz Communications. It seems that no one at Google Buzz team had considered that the profile part of the Google Profile was what should show as a default. It took me quite a while, along with a description of how I use my Google Profile (as my online business card) to show it's importance. Finally my words "It's called Google Profile, so shouldn't the Profile show as default? Otherwise it's Marsha Collier's Google Buzz page" did the trick. Google said "they would consider the suggestion."

I don't want to sound paranoid (or maybe I've read too much George Orwell), and I don't want Google to pull the plug on any of the fine services of theirs that I use (like this blog). I would like to reiterate the following:
  • You can have a Google Profile without Google Buzz
  • You have to disconnect any of the social media sites you have connected to it (via Buzz in Gmail) 
  • You have to disable Google Buzz in your Gmail (via the Buzz tab in Gmail Settings)
... but since you're not sharing any items, or using Buzz, this is effectively meaningless. 

Saturday, February 20

Disable Google Buzz and Lose your Google Profile ??

Of all the issues I've had with Google, this could be the icing on the cake. I'm not happy with Google Buzz. I hate getting emails from Google Buzz with my Tweets. What put me over the edge?

I went to my Google profile (I had my personal URL ported there so that when anyone looked for, they'd get my profile). When I opened the profile I saw that Google Buzz had invaded the entire page! There was another tab that's now entitled ABOUT ME as a secondary option. The About Me tab revealed my original Google profile. Now seriously? Who cares about going to that page and seeing my Google Buzz?

It's a PROFILE, Google, get it? Not my new social media arm. It looks as bad a Friendfeed! I clicked to edit my profile in the hopes that I could change the default. To have the About Me page appear when the prolfile was opened. No such luck. There was no such option.

There was an option to disable Google Buzz. Luckily I read it before I clicked "This will disable Google Buzz integration in Gmail and delete your Google profile and Buzz posts. It will also disconnect any connected sites and unfollow you from anyone you are following."

Seriously? If I don't like Google Buzz you'll take a away my profile? Not cool. Not cool at all.

Friday, February 19

This Week in Twitter Live Broadcast

Today I had a great time down at Mahalo headquarters doing a live webcast, This Week in Twitter. It's a new entertaining (and funny) show where you can get practical advice and news on what's new (and what's hot) on Twitter.

We talked about connecting with your audience as well as the latest trends, news and ways to find your own voice on Twitter. I also gave Lon a little advice on how to find deals on eBay. If you have some time, please give the show a look (or at least a listen) - I think you'll enjoy it.

I really enjoyed participating and it was nice to talk Twitter with some very smart people using more than 140 characters. Thank you Lon Harris, Mike Bracco and Mark Jeffrey.